How Corporate America Can Help Close The Justice Gap

When the Trump administration threatened to eliminate the Legal Services Corp. this year, Hewlett Packard Enterprise helped marshal corporate general counsel to fight back. It’s one timely example, according to business leaders at a recent Manhattan event, of the power that companies have to enact social change.

News Story (NATIONAL)

Kevin Penton
September 29, 2019

Tags: Funding: Federal

Organizations mentioned/involved: National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA)


A letter signed by those attorneys urged members of Congress to not only ignore President Donald Trump but also increase funding for the organization that supports civil legal aid efforts, recalled Willie Hernandez, Hewlett Packard vice president and deputy general counsel, during a panel Wednesday hosted by the National Legal Aid & Defender Association on how corporations can assist in access to justice efforts.

Congress has so far heeded the call, with the U.S. House of Representatives pushing in June to increase LSC’s funding from $415 million to $550 million, though the figure is expected to decrease by the time budget amounts for fiscal year 2020 are finalized, Hernandez told attendees.

The hardest part of taking action is often being the first lone corporate voice, Hernandez said. But once someone spearheads an effort, others often follow: More than 250 general counsel from leading companies in the United States have added their names to the open letter, Hernandez said.